Week 1: Saturday

“Gnuh…” Marylee groaned as a shrill beeping roused her from her lovely dreams. It took her a few seconds to identify the sound as her cell phone and blindly groped around the bed to retrieve it. Locating it lying near her waist under the covers, she reluctantly got out of bed to answer it. “Hullo…” she mumbled sleepily.

“Hi, is this Marylee Charm?” a smooth female voice asked.

“Yes, it is.”

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“Your boss told me to contact you about a wonderful opportunity. I’m Alice White, the principal of the local elementary and high school, and we’re having a school assembly every afternoon this week to honour the retirement of one of our teachers. We’d like someone to come and perform a composition or two at one of them. Would you like to do it? You’ll be paid.”

Marylee smiled eagerly at the thought of money in her pocket and nodded. “Yes, of course! I’d love to!”

“That’s wonderful! Just come to the school between noon and four o’clock any day during the week this week and we’ll help get you set up.”

Marylee hung up the phone and made a mental note to remember to go to the school on Monday to perform and make some money. Despite the phone call waking her up early and making her have a bad night’s sleep, she was pretty excited about making more money. It seemed like making enough to build one room was impossible right now.

Marylee dressed and made her way to the gym, thinking that it would be the same routine, but ran into the same woman that had been flirting with Christopher when she first met him. She seemed furious with Marylee when she stormed away. Crap! How do I make sure she doesn’t see me? she panicked. They were both on the sidewalk, but the woman was facing the other way. Marylee decided to just sneak into the gym behind her back as quickly as she could without being noticed, but when Marylee looked behind her, the girl was following! Did she want to beat her up? Marylee was shaking; she’d never been in a physical fight before; every time Greg hit her, she’d cower and do anything he wanted. She didn’t want to fight.

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Luckily, the woman giving her a nasty glare was the worst thing that happened before she disappeared upstairs to use the equipment. Marylee breathed a sigh of relief and took her usual shower and ate breakfast.

I already miss Christopher, Marylee sighed to herself. I’ll try visiting him at his house again. She still had a few hours before she needed to be at work, so she took a cab to his house. Thank the Goddess the taxis in this town are free, she thought. Otherwise, I’d be homeless and a hermit.

She arrived at Christopher’s house and her eyes opened wide. He had such a beautiful home. It was no mansion, but it was a cozy little cottage with a big garden and well-maintained. Back in Studio Town, Marylee would have scoffed at anything that wasn’t a fancy penthouse apartment like the one she lived in with Greg, but being homeless in this new town had really given her a taste of reality and Christopher’s little cottage looked like a sweeping manor to Marylee now.

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Marylee walked up and rang the doorbell, but once again, no one was home. It seemed like Christopher was always busy around town. A little put out, but determined to see him, Marylee settled into a chair on his back porch with the book her boss gave her to continue reading while she waited for him to return.

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“Marylee! It’s nice to see you finally stopped by! I’m so sorry I was out. I hope you weren’t waiting too long,” Christopher called out to her as he ran to meet her. Marylee smiled and closed her book.

“Not too long,” she lied. In truth, she’d been waiting for over an hour. “I have to go to work soon, but I wanted to come by and say hi. Your house is beautiful,” she beamed. Christopher stepped closer to her and put his arm around her waist.

“You’re beautiful,” he told her. Marylee giggled and looked away. She knew it was a cheesy line, but she was a sap for cheesy romance. It always made her heart flutter and swoon. “You forgot something yesterday at the library,” he whispered. Marylee gave him a puzzled look.

“I did? What was it?” she asked.

“This…” he breathed and leaned in to kiss her. Marylee nearly collapsed in his arms. She knew something else about him now; he was a great kisser! They stood like that with their lips locked together for quite some time before Marylee stepped away, breathless and light-headed.

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“That was… incredible…” she sighed. Christopher laughed and steadied her.

“Easy now. Don’t hurt yourself,” he teased. Marylee smiled and finally managed to stand without her head swimming in euphoria.

“I’d better get to work,” she told him. “I really want this next promotion.”

“Come see me again tomorrow!” he called after her as she caught another cab.

“I will,” she promised.

Marylee’s hard work playing the guitar really paid off. She walked out of her shift as Stagemanager making thirty-three simoleans an hour and a bonus of three hundred and thirty-six simoleans. As happy as she was to be moving up, she couldn’t help but feel humiliated wearing such a hideously ugly uniform.

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Week 1: Sunday

Marylee woke up in bright spirits. She was still nowhere near having enough money for her own house, but she was gaining promotions quickly, it was her day off, and she was going to go see Christopher. She knew now that she loved him. It was crazy, because they just met a week ago, but he was everything she dreamed existed in a man but always thought only existed in romance movies and books. He eased all her pain, she was never lonely now and made her feel like she could do anything she wanted. He was so perfect. The only problem was, she still loved Greg, too…

Eager to see Christopher and wanting to catch him at home before he went out anywhere, Marylee skipped the gym today and went straight to his house. Luckily, he was actually home this time.

“Hey! I wasn’t expecting you this early, but I’m glad you came. Come in,” he greeted her with another amazing kiss.

Marylee stepped inside and looked around. The inside was just as cute and cozy as the outside. He’s so lucky to live here, she thought to herself. For once, she wasn’t even jealous of someone else’s possessions. She was just happy for him. It was a strange feeling, but a nice one.

Christopher awkwardly cleared his throat. “Um, I’m probably pushing it way too far here, but I feel like I’m going to explode if I don’t say this. I have something to tell you and something to ask you,” he began.

Marylee listened intently, her heart starting to beat faster. She hated when guys did that; made her all scared and nervous by telling her he has something to tell her.

“This is going to sound crazy, I know, but just hear me out. When I first laid eyes on you, I thought you were the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my entire life. Since then, I found out that you’re so much more than just beautiful. You’re determined and strong-willed and you know exactly what you want in life and where you’re going. You’re brave and sweet and loving. You’re perfect and I… well… I love you, Marylee.”

Marylee stood there, stunned. She had been called beautiful her entire life, but never had anyone told her she was anything more than that. Greg always said “You’re a pretty face, sweetcheeks, but that’s it. You’ll never be anything on your own. That’s why you need me.” She had believed him for so long, but now she knew different. Christopher made her realize that. Blinking back tears, she flung her arms around him.

“I love you, too, Christopher.”

It was at that moment, she knew that she could let go of Greg. She didn’t need him to make her feel validated as a person anymore; he never really had, anyway. She would always bear the scars of the emotional and physical abuse from him, and she’d never truly be able to forget it, but at least she could put it all behind her and stop holding back from Christopher.

“I… uh… I still have something to ask you,” he whispered. “If this is too soon, I’m sorry. I don’t want to push you into anything, but… I really love you and was wondering if you’d like to… go to my bedroom with me? Like I said, I’m completely fine if you say no. I’d never force you to. Guys like that are disgusting-” but he was cut off by Marylee.

“I’d love to.”

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Marylee was happier than she could ever remember being. She smiled and sighed contentedly as she cuddled with Christopher on his bed afterward. She didn’t even care that his cow print pajamas belonged on a six year old.

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“Mmm… this is so nice…” Marylee murmured sleepily. It was getting late and they had worn each other out. Christopher stroked her hair lovingly and kissed the top of her head.

“It must feel nice to doze off in a house, huh?’ he asked. Marylee’s eyes snapped open and panic set in. He knew? How did he know? No one wanted to be with a hobo! What if he had just pretended he didn’t know so she’d woohoo with him and then leave her? How could she have fallen for such a cruel trick?

She laughed nervously. “W-What on earth are you talking about? Of course I sleep in a house. My house…” she insisted, but her voice wobbled dangerously. Christopher gently pulled her chin up so she’d look him in the eye.

“Marylee, I know you’re homeless. You come to the gym every morning to eat and shower, even though you don’t exercise. The Alto family said they saw you digging through the Science Facility’s garden, gathering food, and after you put your address into my phone, I talked to the Landgrabbs and they said that lot is right by theirs and there’s nothing on it except for a bed.”

Marylee burst into hysteric sobs. “Okay, you’re right, but please don’t leave me, Christopher! I’m working so hard to build a house and make something of myself here, and I love you so much. I can’t be left again. I can’t! I’ll die! My heart can’t handle being broken again…” she buried her face in her hands and wept.

“Marylee. Look at me,” Christopher said gently. She reluctantly brought her face up to his. Her eyeliner was streaming down her face and her nose was running. She looked awful.

“I was never going to leave you. I knew all along and I only fell more and more in love with you every day. I was going to tell you that you can stay with me anytime you want. Showers, food, a bed in a warm house… it’s all here and you’re welcome to it. I know you’re going to get your house someday. I have faith in you, but until then, I want to make sure you’re safe and warm and taken care of.”

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Marylee gratefully accepted his offer. She had a shower at his house. The water was cold here, but she was still thankful for not having to sneak a shower at the gym. She had dinner at his house as well, and later that night, she enjoyed snuggling close to someone she loved.

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